Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal has said that the inherent quality of democracy provides space for organising societies in the best possible manner by managing diversity, dissent, differences, and by promoting tolerance and respect for others.

In his pre-recorded video address to the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies today, he further said inclusive, participatory, and equitable democratic governance could stand resilient to any shocks and turmoils, including political radicalism, economic downturns, disasters, and pandemics such as COV- ID-19. The conference was held virtually under the leadership of the Romanian Presidency on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and concluded with the adoption of a ministerial declaration. Nepal is a member of the Community of Democracy.

While highlighting the principles of inclusive multiparty democratic governance enshrined in the constitution of Nepal, he stated that equality and non-discrimination constituted the bedrock of the country's statute. "Currently, women occupy 41 per cent of the elected offices of federal, provincial and local bodies combined," he added.

Meanwhile, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Amrit Bahadur Rai addressed a high-level sideevent on 'How changing availability of water from ice and snow will impact our societies?' held virtually on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly this morning.

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Rai highlighted the importance of water for sustainability of life on earth. "It is even more important in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic as access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene are key to protecting human health," he said. He also highlighted the impacts of climate change in Nepal. "We need to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions and Nepal is committed to deliver its part. The Paris Agreement must be the guiding document towards this end," he added.

Rai stressed the need to strengthen collaborations at the national, regional and global levels to save mountain ecosystems, which provide fresh water to billions of people. The high-level side event was jointly organised by Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and various UN bodies.

Ambassador Rai also addressed the UN LGBTI Core Group High Level Event on 'Leaving No One Behind: Decriminalisation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity' held this morning on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.

While delivering a statement, he underlined the plight of the LGBTI people and said they had every right to enjoy life in a dignified manner.

"We must stop discrimination against them," he said.

The delegation of Nepal participated at the round table discussion on 'Reparation, racial justice and equality for people of African descent - how to address the past to move forward' held today during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

During the discussion, Nepal underscored the need to take a comprehensive multi-stakeholder approach to eliminate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through legal reforms and empowerment programmes to ensure social protection of racially discriminated communities.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 24 2021, of The Himalayan Times.